People's Choice Party
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|Founded||May 14, 1999Doug Wilson and Rusty Kaneby|
The People's Choice Party was conceived in 1997 when Doug Wilson began a protest walk from New Plymouth to Wellington collecting 52,000 signatures for a petition calling for the then Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys to impose a snap election. It was a historical event in that it was the first ever people's petition to have been presented to a Governor-General in New Zealand.
The People's Choice Party was officially registered on 14 May 1999 after declaring 1172 financial members.
The party was de-registered after Doug Wilson's retirement in 2002. It remained and stayed active as a Ginger Group and supported Rusty Kane as an Independent on national and local issues. These included the Waitara Leaseholders Associations (WLA) fight with the NPDC and Māori to freehold Waitara land and his activities with CEPRA (Chemically Exposed Paritutu Association) fight with the Government Ministers and the TDHB to have New Plymouth's Paritutu residents and workers be recognised for being chemically exposed from living and working in or near the old Ivon Watkins Dow Chemical Plant now (Dow Agro) at Paritutu, and his independent stand that New Plymouth should have its own Independent seat (the New Plymouth Independent Seat) not a party seat.
“The People's Choice Party” had 2504 financial members when it was de-registered in 2002. The party encouraged its supporters to vote Labour in the 1999 general election, New Zealand First in the 2002 election, Green in 2005 and National in the 2008 elections.
- The People's Choice Party was the first political party to be registered out of Taranaki.
- It was the first political party to stand a Pākehā (non Māori) in a Māori seat (Te Tai Hauāuru seat in 1999).
- The PCP saved Taranaki's Waitara to Lepperton rail line from being ripped up and sold.
- In 2000-2001 it spearheaded the initial representation for the Waitara Leaseholders concerns for the free holding of Waitara land to the NPDC.
Policies and ideology
The party supports "Good Democracy":
- Citizens Initiated Referenda to be binding on the Government
- New Zealand becoming a Republic
- A new National Flag
- New Zealand having its own written constitution
- Fewer MPs in parliament and less bureaucracy
The People's Choice Party also supports local body council rates never increasing more than the rate of inflation.
Although the party only stands in elections to make comment or have a particular issue aired – not to win elections. Its future goal is to gather enough members to support it to become New Zealand's fourth largest political party. The People's Choice Party have only stood twice in New Zealand elections:
|1999 general election||to show opposition to the MMP voting system|
|2009 Mt Albert by-election||to support the binding of Citizens Initiated Referenda|